ABOUT US

Valentin Lagesse Associes was formed in 1989 as a partnership between Henriette Valentin (current Director), Philippe Valentin (deceased 2008) and Pierre Lagesse (retired 2008) to work on Architectural, Urban Design and interior design projects in Mauritius.

 

VLA has worked on a variety of projects including Urban Design Projects / Master Planning, Residential Developments, Offices, Commercial Buildings, hotels, schools and senior homes.

 

In parallel Henriette Valentin has co-authored a book on Mauritian Architecture “La Vie en Varangue”, has worked on a survey / report of heritage buildings in Port Louis for  UNDP  and represented the MAA  on the National Heritage Trust Fund board at its inception.

 

VLA moved into new premises in January 2009 to allow for expansion.  Thierry Bégat has been consulting to VLA since September 2010 – his experience in Europe on a variety of prestigious projects has strengthened the team.

The team has been further reinforced by a group of young dynamic Architects. Emilie Baissac joined in August 2012. Nathalie Curier joined in 2013. Arshaad Khodabuccus in February 2015. In addition VLA employs 2 senior draftsmen and a Personal Assistant.

THE SITE

 

A successful project is one where the buildings are fully integrated into their site environment. We feel that it is important to study the specific topography and existing landscaping as well as the adjacent or existing built environment as well as major physical features such as distance from the sea or a river, major views etc...

The presence of heritage buildings on some of our sites has created the opportunity to create important synergies between the old and the new, inventing new uses for existing structures such as at Beau Plan Business Park.

 

THE BRIEF

 

A clear understanding of a client’s requirements is a prerequisite to a successful project. We work with our clients to define and refine their needs and goals to ensure that the architecture works technically in a seamless way and provides aesthetic, efficient and comfortable buildings for the user.

 

GREEN BY DESIGN

 

Our interest in vernacular Mauritian architecture as well as our conviction that we should design 'for and with' the Mauritian climate has naturally led VLA to integrate the principle of 'Green by design 'in all projects. The level of green to be achieved is discussed with the client at concept stage and a 'shade of green' is defined as a target.

The orientation and specific microclimates of different parts of the island are systematically studied and we have regularly teamed up with environmental engineers to test our concepts and optimize the design.

In some projects, this process has generated the form of the buildings themselves (as at West Coast Primary School).

Natural ventilation, use of natural light whilst controlling glare, protection of openings to allow ventilation during rainfall, design of adjacent landscaping all work together to create comfortable buildings for the users.

The careful choice of materials allows for buildings with minimum maintenance and easy upkeep thus reducing running costs.

 

THE TEAM

 

Most of our buildings are the result of team work. The senior partners / concept architects / project architects and the drafting staff must all feel that the project is 'theirs'.

We also work in close collaboration from the start with the technical / design team: engineers, QS, and specialist designers. All provide important input to ensure that the buildings are optimized in terms of design, built area and cost.

We have had the opportunity to work with golf architects, specialists in commercial developments and care homes. Our French associate has contacts with numerous specialists on whom we can call on a project by project basis.

 

QUALITY BUILDINGS WITHIN A CONTROLLED BUDGET

 

A very high proportion of building materials in Mauritius are imported. It is thus important to work with standard Mauritian building techniques wherever possible and invest in a measured and intelligent way on imported more expensive products. The challenge is to produce an innovative and strong building within an approved budget.

We believe that designing quality buildings thus rests on good / clear design, simple but thorough detailing and close site supervision.